US cable pioneer John Malone’s investment vehicle Liberty Media is trying to buy Switzerland’s biggest cable operator, Cablecom.

The Swiss firm is currently owned by NTL, the debt-stricken cable group listed in the US but with most of its operations in the UK. Liberty’s offer was first made in April, but talks with Cablecom’s creditor banks were delayed while NTL negotiated a restructuring deal with its bondholders.

Malone has repeatedly tried to buy his way into NTL – including an offer to pump capital into Cablecom – but was rejected in favour of a massive debt-for-equity swap.

According to insiders, NTL is planning to sell the Swiss unit – which boasts 1.5 million subscribers – and will invite Malone to take part in an auction over the summer.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff